The Eleventh India Forum, hosted by the ARC advisory group in Hyderabad, attracted over 230 delegates, including thought leaders and decision makers from key industrial segments, end users and technology providers. The two global players B&R and Alstom were invited to present on the topic of real-time deterministic, redundant networking for power plants using POWERLINK. Alstom uses the open Ethernet POWERLINK protocol as a communication backbone to optimise plant efficiency.
Over the years, the use of Ethernet in power plants has evolved from shared, bridged and switched networks to deterministic real-time Ethernet one thousand times faster than traditional fieldbus technology. This set the stage for Ethernet POWERLINK, whose flexibility and high-performance are able to optimise plant efficiency like never before.
Rajeev Sharma, vice president and managing director of Alstom Power Automation & Controls, says: "As an open communication protocol based on standard Ethernet, POWERLINK is well prepared for future evolutions." The first real-time deterministic protocol, POWERLINK is a global leader delivering guaranteed performance thanks to IEEE802.3 compliance, 100 us cycle times and a system synchronisation rate of 0.1 us. Sharma adds: "The cutting-edge solutions offered for all types of industrial automation lead to POWERLINK being selected unanimously as Alstom's real-time communication standard."
Sharma also points to contributions that Alstom has made to the evolution of POWERLINK through heading the Ethernet POWERLINK Standardization Group's "High Availability" working group. The open nature of POWERLINK allowed Alstom to share its many years of expertise as standardised, open add-ons to the POWERLINK specification, making them available to everyone and ensuring compatibility with existing devices.
Ninad Deshpande, open technology representative from B&R, says: "Open technologies are superseding proprietary ones in all fields, and the automation industry is no exception. Users of POWERLINK benefit from no longer being bound to a specific vendor, license or copyrighted technology." In addition to technical details of the POWERLINK protocol and the benefits of open technology, the presenters also introduced the Ethernet POWERLINK Standardization Group (EPSG), an independent user organisation focused on developing the benefits of Ethernet for high-performance real-time networks and leading marketing and promotional activities world-wide. Members of the group include commercial companies, research institutes and end users.
To learn more about the open Ethernet POWERLINK protocol please go to www.ethernet-powerlink.org